Wednesday, May 19, 2004

40 Iraqis killed in air attack at a wedding

Of course, war is hell, and folks at weddings in Iraq surely should know not to shoot their guns in the air in celebration lest they attract the nearest flock of Blackhawks. Heck, even if you are in the Western desert those Americans will come running.

It seems that every day there is something done that stains our character worse. Frankly, I'm not sure how much lower we can go. I was 11 when the word of My Lai came out, but I'd read the newspaper everyday for a year already, and the story fascinated and horrified me. If I had to name a day, then that day in March when the announcements came out may have been the day I became a Democrat. I spoke for Bobby Kennedy at an assembly that June, only days before he was shot. I remember being ashamed of being an American because of My Lai, and then proud of my love for Bobby. Finally, I was horrified at his senseless death.

Why do I mention this trip back in time in response to 40 people dead at a wedding? I'm deeply shocked by it, and part of me marvels at the capacity for shock. Part of me knows that the Bush Administration will pass this off as one of the unavoidable horrors of war. And we all know that NOBODY will take responsibility.

That's what makes George Bush a failure. He takes no responsibility. George Will wrote these words a week ago, and about Donald Rumsfeld instead, but they seem apt:
When there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate. Leave aside the question of who or what failed before Sept. 11, 2001. But who lost his or her job because the president's 2003 State of the Union address gave currency to a fraud -- the story of Iraq's attempting to buy uranium in Niger? Or because the primary and only sufficient reason for waging preemptive war -- weapons of mass destruction -- was largely spurious? Or because postwar planning, from failure to anticipate the initial looting to today's insufficient force levels, has been botched? Failures are multiplying because of choices for which no one seems accountable.

The response by the nation's government must express horror, shame and contrition proportional to the evil done to others, and the harm done to the nation, by agents of the government.
Will on May 11

I want to see someone big get fired when our honor as a country is stained. Wolfowitz for the Uranium bit? Fire Cheney for the WMD debacle? How about Rumsfeld for the prison scandal? And whoever made this overall decision for war in Iraq with no effective exit strategy should be fired for 40 deaths at a wedding. 40 innocents dead. Yeah, maybe you can make that VERY SAME mistake in Afghanistan, where we also attacked a wedding a couple years ago, but someone has to fall when you make it AGAIN! Let's fire Bush for that one.

Don't even try spitting. It won't help.